The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Research

Jack Procter-Blain

Every teacher is a researcher of SEND

As teachers, there's no better way to find and apply what works than investing time in research. Exploring research into SEND deserves to be high on your agenda. With so much to sift through, and so little time to do it, research is too often a ‘would-have’ instead of a ‘must-have’ for teachers...
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Gareth D Morewood

Col-lab-orating to connect neuroscience with education

The role of neuroscience in educational practice - particularly for children and young people with SEND - has been controversial, but one laboratory's research shows great promise. There have been many unsubstantiated claims at events regarding ‘breakthroughs’ in neuroscience, including one example...
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Kate Herbert-Smith

Teachers as researchers: 6 ways to encourage action research

Kate Herbert-Smith of IRIS Connect outlines how to encourage an action research culture to make a meaningful impact on pupil outcomes Teacher research is a powerful tool for professional learning. It has the potential to enhance and improve teaching and learning as well as increase teachers’...
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Owen Carter

Eight principles of effective teaching

Eight ideas from cognitive psychology that you should think about putting into your teaching. Lists of effective teaching are ten a penny – some useful, some not so much. There are some great ones: Tom Sherrington has put together a really useful (and practical) set of principles , Shaun Allison...
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James Mannion

How I learned to stop worrying and love teacher research

The Praxis Curriculum, an innovative approach to teaching Learning to Learn at Key Stage 3, produced compelling evidence of academic gains across all subject areas and an almost complete closing of the attainment gap. I qualified as a science teacher in 2006. In 2007, I became gifted and talented...
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Gareth D Morewood

Using research to support transitions

Gareth Morewood draws on his experience to identify 2 research studies that have helped him develop how transitions are managed in his school. I have always thought that supporting transitions is vital. Having the opportunity to recently work with almost 200 SENCos in Somerset on this topic enabled...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Does your school need to be more involved in research?

Research has long been the focus of higher education institutions. But concerns are growing that schools are not directly involved. Optimus expert Elizabeth Holmes caught up with Mark Healy, deputy head (learning and teaching) and psychology teacher at a Scottish secondary school, to find out his...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Reading research papers efficiently and effectively

With so much relevant reading material out there for teachers and other educators, it’s no wonder we can, at times, feel overwhelmed by it all. Optimus expert, Elizabeth Holmes, outlines techniques and strategies to ensure you get the most from your research. Think before you speak. Read before you...
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Lizzie Gait

ResearchED: a stimulating, if mind-boggling experience!

Optimus Education staff report from the 2014 ResearchED event, held on 6 September at Raine’s Foundation School Lizzie Gait reports: ‘A great line-up of speakers drew me to this year’s ResearchEd event. It was a fascinating insight into the views and ideas of those who are passionate about...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Small-scale research: your next CPD priority

Use action research to enhance teaching and learning. Elizabeth Holmes explains how ‘Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.’ EM Forster ith the ongoing debate about using research in education to inform teaching and learning, it seems timely to revisit the...
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